The Fine Line Between Trademark Policing and Bullying

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The trademark (geeks) lawyers at Sands Anderson have been debating how far a company should go to “police” its trademarks. Entrepreneur Media (publisher of Entrepreneur magazine and owner of Entrepreneur.com) got us thinking about it: in attempts to protect its Entrepreneur brand, it sent cease and desist letters to EntrepreneurOlogy.com for workshops, EntrepreneurPR, a firm that had a newsletter called Entrepreneur Illustrated, and 3Entrepreneurs, which sold T-shirts, sweaters and hats with the phrase “Entrepreneur Generation”.

While it is never too soon to protect your company’s valuable trademark, registration alone is not enough. The owner of a trademark has to stop people from infringing its marks, known as policing the mark.

It is a difficult line to walk. If you don’t police, you could be deemed to have abandoned your mark or have allowed infringing uses to go unchecked. Too much (or inappropriate) policing can make your company look like a bully and generate bad PR.

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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